Stop Sneezing & Start Sweeping! Carpet Cleaning Tips for Allergy Sufferers
Sun’s out, flowers are in full bloom and…gazuntite! Yep, spring has sprung. This time of year is especially tough for seasonal allergy sufferers exposed to tree, grass and weed pollen. In fact, a lot of people experience allergies as it’s the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States. And, it’s easy to blame being outside for the sneezing, watery eyes and itchy throat, but it’s what’s happening inside that may be causing you misery.
When it comes to allergies or asthma, people do not give much thought about flooring, in particular, carpet. What may look like dust is actually pollen, pet dander and those notorious dust mites that have accumulated in the carpet and are beyond levels typically found outdoors. In addition, there’s something called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in many paints and household cleaners that causes health issues for allergy and asthma sufferers.
Now, the quick answer here would be to replace all of the carpet with hard flooring for the sense it’s easier to clean, minimal contamination from dust, mold and pet dander and emits lower amounts of VOCs. However, this may not be a realistic option. Plus, people really like the look and feel of carpet. Winning the war on dust can be an endless battle, but there are ways though to stay ahead and keep your carper clean and allergen free.
Sweep, Sweep, Get Out the Vacuum!
Who doesn’t feel good and accomplished after vacuuming their carpet? Plus, it’s a great workout (30 minutes a day of vacuuming burns 119 calories). As a rule of thumb, vacuuming high-traffic areas and bedrooms should be done at least twice a week while other light-traffic areas of a home or business, including rugs can be taken care of on a weekly basis. Now, the type of vacuum cleaner being used is key to make certain pollen and other dust particles are collected and sealed.
The best choice for a high-quality vacuum cleaner is one with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HERPA) filter. These filters are 99.97% effective at capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns (a micron is one one-millionth of a meter) from the exhausted air passing through the vacuum, meaning dust isn’t going to end up back on your carpet.
Bag or Bagless Vacuum Cleaners; That is the Question.
Each type of vacuum cleaner has their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, a vacuum featuring a dust bin is quick and easy to empty, but emptying it can result in more of a mess than you expected. That’s why it’s better to empty the dust bin outside or in a well-ventilated area.
When it comes to a bagged vacuum cleaner, one with an allergy-friendly bag that auto seals will do wonders and prevent captured particles from escaping. However, the catch with this type of vacuum is removing and installing a bag is not hassle-free and you’re going to continually pay for new bags.
While regular vacuuming is important to keep those nasty dust particles at bay and your carpet looking fresh and new, it’s not fully enough to ensure your floor is allergy-free. Steam cleaning uses steam and a cleaning solution to quickly dry, clean and sanitize carpet. The process is highly effective to disinfect and even sterilize the floor, and should be done every six months.
Spring is a delightful time to be outside, but for allergy sufferers, the season is marked with sneezing, aches and pains and a sore throat. Unfortunately, seeking refuge indoors is no escape. Carpet is a breeding ground for pollen, dust mites and other dust particles. Sure, replacing carpet with hard flooring is the best solution, it’s not always the most feasible. By giving carpet some TLC, you’re keeping it fresh and clean while ensuring your allergies are in check.